Ahimsa through weight lifting?

posted in: Evolving | 0

Okay, so you know I have been struggling with the next step in my personal evolution—to work on impeccability in word and deed. I still struggle with it. Or to be more accurate, I don’t consciously think about it enough to make that idea influence my behavior on a regular basis. It’s bubbling back there somewhere, though.

One of the reasons I have taken so fervently to fitness and nutrition is because I love/admire/crave a higher level of discipline in my life. I like what happens when I move towards impeccability. And I do believe that introducing stricter physical discipline in my routines will influence my ability to introduce more discipline into my consciousness evolution.

That brings us to Ahimsa. Ahimsa is Sanskrit for ‘do no harm’. It is the cornerstone of Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, etc. It is very important to note the etymology of the word. It doesn’t say ‘do good’, it says ‘do no harm’. Not ‘move towards the positive’ but instead ‘keep yourself from doing the negative’.

That’s the key point I have been ruminating on. It’s easy to do good and try to bring about positive change. It is SO much more difficult to actually refrain from harming. I think about just the carbon footprint I leave on a daily basis and how little I consider it in the larger scheme of all my daily decision making—even when recycling and buying organic. Then there are interpersonal aspects to consider. Thoughtlessly engaging in petty gossip (even when I can hear my higher self in my head telling me it’s unkind). Struggling to be kind when the other person really tests my patience. Forgetting that the churlish actions of others most often (always?) stems from a need for love and compassion. Even recognizing that in the moment doesn’t necessarily make it any easier to dislodge one’s ego enough to embody ahimsa.

There is SO much more to ‘doing no harm’ that requires extreme effort.

Effort. If I have come to love various forms of effort, like disciplined fitness, then it stands to reason I can train myself to love effort in other arenas. I love fitness and it is all about always striving to engage and increase one’s effort.

And not just any kind of effort. Like Ahimsa’s etymology, this is an important point.

My trainer is very picky about form. When weight training with me she constantly reminds me that in order to properly develop muscles, it isn’t the easy, positive action of the muscle flex that achieves that. Rather, it is the controlled effort of managing the negative flex that achieves maximum growth. It is significantly more difficult, but that’s what’s needed for correct discipline and growth.

Similarly, that seems to be what’s needed for consciousness growth, too. Managing that negative flex.

So, that’s what I was thinking about when watching in the mirror my beautifully evolving musculature as it managed the negative flex of the lat pulldown.

It made me see that managing that negative flex in my words and deeds is what I need to think about a lot more in my daily routine.

That was today’s meditation in the gym.

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